Photo and video courtesy of Ithaca Creative Media and Slywka Media

ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) - Thursday afternoon Ithaca College Football's Derek Slywka was signed to the Indianapolis Colts. 

After attending the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs rookie mini-camps a few weeks ago, the 23 year was invited to workout with the Colts this past week. After the coaches liked what they saw, Slywka then signed with the team.

"It's kind of something you work for your whole life and then it arrives and it's kind of a weird feeling but it's been a really good 24 hours just kind of soaking it in. Getting ready now to go home and get ready for training camp."

Originally on the men's basketball team at Finger Lakes Community College, Slywka transferred to IC in the spring of 2021. While playing for the Bombers, he played safety for all three seasons. 

The Waterloo native told WENY the Colts had open spots on the roster for wide-receivers, so the team had him run offensive drills and then signed Slywka as a wide-receiver. 

The last Ithaca College football player to play in the NFL was 57 years ago when Sandor Szabo played for the Atlanta Falcons in 1967. Before that, Joe D'Orazio was drafted to the Washington Redskins and played for the Detriot Lions in 1944. Slywka is just the third Bomber graduate to go to the NFL.

Slywka attested to the Division III Ithaca College football program and how much it prepared him for this opportunity. 

"It's definitely a surreal moment when you look across the field and you're catching passes from Joe Flacco, who a year ago, being a Browns fan, you know you're watching him on television. It's an interesting feeling and you kind of have to lock in and just realize that hey, I've worked really hard to get here, I belong here. I think that's something that when I tell people--I come from DIII, I come from Ithaca. It's something I say proudly, not feeling bad about it. That's kind of my mindset."

Slywka is learning a whole new side of the ball in hopes of making it on the teams' official 53-man roster come August.